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Old 07-21-2013, 06:43 AM   #1
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OH YAY. The Mascot Issue.

I'm finding myself being faced with the issue of sports teams using Indians for a mascot head on.

Yesterday my husband and I went a local italian submarine sandwich shop in our neighbourhood that we had heard about for years and had never managed to check out. (Excellent eats by the way.)

While we were there waiting for our food, I looked around at all the photos they had on the wall. They had celebrity headshots and group photos of sports teams they had sponsored everywhere.

I notice something peculiar that I had never seen before. The second my eyes landed on an old photo of a football team, I was filled with dread. There on the wall, was the name of our local high school - the one my daughter will/would have been attending - Hart High Indians.

The photo was from the 80's, so I immediately started scanning the room and praying with all of my might that I would find a more recent photo of the team with a name like "Wild Cats" instead.

But as I looked around the room, I couldn't see the name of the team on any of the recent photos. But the colours were the same. I wasn't hopeful.

The minute I got home, I googled. And there it was. "Hart High Indians" on the school website. Along with several google results about how many times people had fought, petitioned and begged for them to change it, to no avail.

From what I have gathered, they seem to think it's ok to use a race of people as a mascot as long as they "portray the Indian respectfully".

They just. don't. get it.

I love my neighbourhood. It's an awesome neighbourhood. I can walk to almost everything I need, it's right on the two bus lines that go almost everywhere I need to go, and it's very family friendly, very low crime, reasonable commute for my husband. We had planned to eventually buy a home in this neighbourhood and stay here until our kids were grown, maybe even for the rest of our lives.

I'm originally from Ontario, Canada, and we've moved around a lot before settling here. For a long time we didn't have a "home". This neighbourhood to me felt like a place I could call home, finally.

And now, unless by some stroke of miracle they change it (doubtful considering the number of times they have ignored being petitioned to do so) I have to move. My daughter attending this school is NOT an option. I will NOT have her attending a school where her heritage is mocked in this way.

I'm pissed. Very, very pissed. I can't believe in this day in age that this crap still exists. It's bad enough that we still have pro sports teams using the names and symbols. But schools? Really, how much of an impact would it be to change it? It's not like they're a nationally recognized symbol. Not that that is a reason to keep the names either, but really, it's a high school team. It would not be a huge deal to change it.

I'm so upset :( I don't want to move. I LIKE where I live. And I feel forced to do so to avoid racism. That really, really sucks.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Doll View Post
I'm finding myself being faced with the issue of sports teams using Indians for a mascot head on.

Yesterday my husband and I went a local italian submarine sandwich shop in our neighbourhood that we had heard about for years and had never managed to check out. (Excellent eats by the way.)

While we were there waiting for our food, I looked around at all the photos they had on the wall. They had celebrity headshots and group photos of sports teams they had sponsored everywhere.

I notice something peculiar that I had never seen before. The second my eyes landed on an old photo of a football team, I was filled with dread. There on the wall, was the name of our local high school - the one my daughter will/would have been attending - Hart High Indians.

The photo was from the 80's, so I immediately started scanning the room and praying with all of my might that I would find a more recent photo of the team with a name like "Wild Cats" instead.

But as I looked around the room, I couldn't see the name of the team on any of the recent photos. But the colours were the same. I wasn't hopeful.

The minute I got home, I googled. And there it was. "Hart High Indians" on the school website. Along with several google results about how many times people had fought, petitioned and begged for them to change it, to no avail.

From what I have gathered, they seem to think it's ok to use a race of people as a mascot as long as they "portray the Indian respectfully".

They just. don't. get it.

I love my neighbourhood. It's an awesome neighbourhood. I can walk to almost everything I need, it's right on the two bus lines that go almost everywhere I need to go, and it's very family friendly, very low crime, reasonable commute for my husband. We had planned to eventually buy a home in this neighbourhood and stay here until our kids were grown, maybe even for the rest of our lives.

I'm originally from Ontario, Canada, and we've moved around a lot before settling here. For a long time we didn't have a "home". This neighbourhood to me felt like a place I could call home, finally.

And now, unless by some stroke of miracle they change it (doubtful considering the number of times they have ignored being petitioned to do so) I have to move. My daughter attending this school is NOT an option. I will NOT have her attending a school where her heritage is mocked in this way.

I'm pissed. Very, very pissed. I can't believe in this day in age that this crap still exists. It's bad enough that we still have pro sports teams using the names and symbols. But schools? Really, how much of an impact would it be to change it? It's not like they're a nationally recognized symbol. Not that that is a reason to keep the names either, but really, it's a high school team. It would not be a huge deal to change it.

I'm so upset :( I don't want to move. I LIKE where I live. And I feel forced to do so to avoid racism. That really, really sucks.
What do you expect? Many don't even listen to small things - how can they listen to anything bigger? Have you gone there in person to let them know? Rage wouldn't help - people tend to laugh about upset people. I hope you will find what you are looking for. Giving up is no solution either as one always will have to face things he/she does not like or agree with. No matter where ya go. But there's always the option to state your point. It may works.

I like squirrels - well it has got nothing to do with what you wrote, but it's a cute picture this squirrel.

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Old 07-21-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Oh I fully plan on stating my opinion and doing what I can to join the effort to get them to change it - and while I'm pissed right now (the first day discovering this), rage just isn't my style. But do I feel confident that they will change it within the 7 years before my daughter attends there? Confident enough to buy a home within the district? Not at all.

Do I want to take the risk that my daughter could be attending a high school that plays something like this at their rallies?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BUyUjKI73o

If this is their idea of a respectful portrayal, I don't want my daughter to have anything to do with it.

Mostly, I'm just very, very disappointed. For the most part I have found the people who live here to be very respectful, accepting and loving toward native people (without crossing the line into wanna-be territory much). There's even a (ok, somewhat fishbowl, but nonetheless) powwow here in town that has been running over 20 years. I'm just so disappointed to find out this has been right under my nose all this time and I don't want our family to have anything to do with it.

Maybe I'm reacting stronger to this because I'm not as used to it - this kind of thing is much less common in Canada where I grew up. It still exists there sometimes but on a much smaller scale.

Last edited by Doll; 07-21-2013 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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Oh and.. cute squirrel. I see your squirrel, and I raise you one baby hamster.

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Old 07-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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Hart High School will never change their mascot. You should just concentrate on your daughter getting a education from a good school. Hart has a good reputation from a good area. All I say is "cowboy up" or move to Compton where their mascot is a tarbabe.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doll View Post
I'm finding myself being faced with the issue of sports teams using Indians for a mascot head on.

Yesterday my husband and I went a local italian submarine sandwich shop in our neighbourhood that we had heard about for years and had never managed to check out. (Excellent eats by the way.)

While we were there waiting for our food, I looked around at all the photos they had on the wall. They had celebrity headshots and group photos of sports teams they had sponsored everywhere.

I notice something peculiar that I had never seen before. The second my eyes landed on an old photo of a football team, I was filled with dread. There on the wall, was the name of our local high school - the one my daughter will/would have been attending - Hart High Indians.

The photo was from the 80's, so I immediately started scanning the room and praying with all of my might that I would find a more recent photo of the team with a name like "Wild Cats" instead.

But as I looked around the room, I couldn't see the name of the team on any of the recent photos. But the colours were the same. I wasn't hopeful.

The minute I got home, I googled. And there it was. "Hart High Indians" on the school website. Along with several google results about how many times people had fought, petitioned and begged for them to change it, to no avail.

From what I have gathered, they seem to think it's ok to use a race of people as a mascot as long as they "portray the Indian respectfully".

They just. don't. get it.

I love my neighbourhood. It's an awesome neighbourhood. I can walk to almost everything I need, it's right on the two bus lines that go almost everywhere I need to go, and it's very family friendly, very low crime, reasonable commute for my husband. We had planned to eventually buy a home in this neighbourhood and stay here until our kids were grown, maybe even for the rest of our lives.

I'm originally from Ontario, Canada, and we've moved around a lot before settling here. For a long time we didn't have a "home". This neighbourhood to me felt like a place I could call home, finally.

And now, unless by some stroke of miracle they change it (doubtful considering the number of times they have ignored being petitioned to do so) I have to move. My daughter attending this school is NOT an option. I will NOT have her attending a school where her heritage is mocked in this way.

I'm pissed. Very, very pissed. I can't believe in this day in age that this crap still exists. It's bad enough that we still have pro sports teams using the names and symbols. But schools? Really, how much of an impact would it be to change it? It's not like they're a nationally recognized symbol. Not that that is a reason to keep the names either, but really, it's a high school team. It would not be a huge deal to change it.

I'm so upset :( I don't want to move. I LIKE where I live. And I feel forced to do so to avoid racism. That really, really sucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doll View Post
Oh I fully plan on stating my opinion and doing what I can to join the effort to get them to change it - and while I'm pissed right now (the first day discovering this), rage just isn't my style. But do I feel confident that they will change it within the 7 years before my daughter attends there? Confident enough to buy a home within the district? Not at all.

Do I want to take the risk that my daughter could be attending a high school that plays something like this at their rallies?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BUyUjKI73o

If this is their idea of a respectful portrayal, I don't want my daughter to have anything to do with it.

Mostly, I'm just very, very disappointed. For the most part I have found the people who live here to be very respectful, accepting and loving toward native people (without crossing the line into wanna-be territory much). There's even a (ok, somewhat fishbowl, but nonetheless) powwow here in town that has been running over 20 years. I'm just so disappointed to find out this has been right under my nose all this time and I don't want our family to have anything to do with it.

Maybe I'm reacting stronger to this because I'm not as used to it - this kind of thing is much less common in Canada where I grew up. It still exists there sometimes but on a much smaller scale.
First...Hart High School is in Newhall, Ca, NOT Santa Clarita Valley. There. Now I feel better. lol

One of your options is to move to the west a couple of miles to the west and attend Canyon High School. Then, your school mascot will be the 'Cowboys'. I'm not sure how you will do in your fight against the mascot name of HHS. With a Native American population rate of probably 0.000001% in the Newhall area, you have an uphill battle.

Good luck in your endeavors.



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Originally Posted by wanjica_the_one View Post
Hart High School will never change their mascot. You should just concentrate on your daughter getting a education from a good school. Hart has a good reputation from a good area. All I say is "cowboy up" or move to Compton where their mascot is a tarbabe.
Dang, that's a messed up mascot! A baby in a diaper with a big sword???? And the percentage of race enrollment is 2/3 hispanic?
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
First...Hart High School is in Newhall, Ca, NOT Santa Clarita Valley. There. Now I feel better. lol

One of your options is to move to the west a couple of miles to the west and attend Canyon High School. Then, your school mascot will be the 'Cowboys'. I'm not sure how you will do in your fight against the mascot name of HHS. With a Native American population rate of probably 0.000001% in the Newhall area, you have an uphill battle.

Good luck in your endeavors.





Dang, that's a messed up mascot! A baby in a diaper with a big sword???? And the percentage of race enrollment is 2/3 hispanic?
To reside in Santa Clarita is a privilege with 70% Caucasian and no. 18 out of 100 places to live according to Money Magazine.

The Tarbabes are one of my favorites.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
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Maybe I'm reacting stronger to this...
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #9
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In this town she will receive a good education no matter what school she attends, I'm not too worried about that. Hart is indeed a highly rated school but so are several of the others. There are plenty to choose from in the various neighbourhoods, I'm just upset that I even have to consider this as a factor at all. It sucks.

It also feels like I've been duped.. I thought this city, while rather predominantly caucasian, was rather non-racist to natives and other races in general, at least compared to other cities/towns I've lived in. I certainly haven't encountered anything but acceptance and interest in my culture, nothing negative at all. To see something like this makes me question that..

I'm sure fighting against it won't do much in the short term either. It's not likely to change before my daughter is in high school, but each time any issue gets brought up it works toward eventual change, I believe. You certainly don't get anywhere by twiddling your thumbs. I wouldn't go devoting my whole life to it but I'm certainly not going to do absolutely nothing, nor just send my kid along and let her deal with with that crap when we have plenty of other options. I want her to be able to participate in sports if she wants to without having to plaster her own body with a stereotype against her own culture and watch her peers regularly display that kind of disrespect, if I can avoid it (which in this case, I can). It's just very annoying to have to deal with that at all.

Last edited by Doll; 07-21-2013 at 11:12 PM..
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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Oh and Joe's Dad - I'm not sure what you mean to clarify exactly... Hart High is indeed in Newhall, but Newhall is in the Santa Clarita Valley..?
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:47 PM   #11
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Oh and Joe's Dad - I'm not sure what you mean to clarify exactly... Hart High is indeed in Newhall, but Newhall is in the Santa Clarita Valley..?
For some of us who born in this area almost 60 years ago, Santa Clarita is pretty new.

Traveling through the late 1950's to the early 1970's (I, like you left the area where I was raised. Don't know about you, but I left for almost 30 years), there were distinct areas known as Newhall and Saugus. The area pre-Magic Mountain known as Valencia didn't exist. On the corner where Hwy 99 (now I-5) and Hwy 126 met was a restaurant called Tip's and a small gas station. All the area known today as Santa Clarita was pretty much scrub oak and tumbleweeds. My grandparents and father were downstream when the dam at St. Francis broke.

I played high school basketball in 1969 locally. We played Canyon High School that year. Pretty sure that was the year it opened. If it isn't, that is the first year it was in our league.

If you travel the old 99 through the Newhall Pass, you can see, and mostly imagine, the sights of yesteryear. (Anybody remember the water cascading down the side of the mountain between Newhall and Sylmar?

Maybe this will help...

Santa Clarita, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To give you an idea, there was a spot 19 miles north of Ojai where you could see the reflection of the ocean. It was 46 miles to the ocean. Today, with all the 'progress' of such places like Santa Clarita, you can't see the mountains for the smog.

In Ventura County at that time, all the houses and agriculture was on the plains floor. Today, what is known as the Oxnard Plains looks like Los Angeles. Again...progress.

To all the outsiders moving into your area, you only know it as Santa Clarita. So yeah, Hart High School is in Newhall...and Newhall IS in the Santa Clarita Valley. Those of us born to the area have a little different perspective.

Us old people, we remember. lol

Enough of the geographics and demographics. Let's not veer away from the topic of the thread.

Good luck in trying to change the name of the Hart High School Indians before your daughter gets to high school. It will be a major endeavor.

I forgot to mention we played Hart High that year, also. lol
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:55 PM   #12
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Hart High School

In 1944, local families, tired of having students bused to San Fernando High School, gained the right to establish their very own secondary schools.

The following year, a group of 73 ninth graders set up a school using part of the existing Newhall Elementary campus to become the first high school class in the new William S. Hart Union High School District. Ironically, the area was originally given the title the Santa Clarita High School District, but the name was soon changed to honor William S. Hart, the local western film star and community benefactor.

Reportedly, Hart was very touched by the board of education naming both district and school after him, for he had suggested General Fremont High School. And although it is said that cowboy actor Hart's affinity for Indians was well known, it had no bearing on the new school's nickname.

According to committee member Gwen (Booth) Gallion, it was in the spring of 1946 that students selected the nickname Indians and maroon and gray for school colors. Gwen says the process was one of choosing symbols that would distinguish Hart from a chalkboard list of banners that represented existing nearby schools. Colors were changed to red and black in the sixties because of difficulty in matching maroon hues.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:09 AM   #13
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Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation-Parks-Full List of Parks-William S. Hart Regional Park1

William Surrey Hart was a big star of the silent films era "Two Gun Bill" the cowboy.

Mr. Hart had respect for Native Americans, and many Native-themed events take place at Hart Ranch.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:10 AM   #14
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If you travel the old 99 through the Newhall Pass, you can see, and mostly imagine, the sights of yesteryear. (Anybody remember the water cascading down the side of the mountain between Newhall and Sylmar?
We always imagined what a log flume ride would be like on that tiered waterfall. Once we saw that landmark, we knew we were close to Magic Mountain.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:29 AM   #15
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Thanks Joe's Dad, I would have liked to have seen it before all the development. I very much enjoy visiting some of the places they have kept up - we love visiting Mentryville and the historical society that preserved the old Saugus train station, with a tiny schoolhouse and the tiny church, etc. One of my favourite things about it here is how much historical buildings they have preserved. Up until about a year ago (when they finally succumbed to the elements) there were still tattered old curtains on the windows one of the little shack houses in Mentryville.

I would feel better about the mascot if it was indeed respectful - still wouldn't be thrilled, but better. But the spirit wear has an angry looking "savage-like" character on it, and it doesn't appear that any sense of respect is taught or encouraged to the students judging by the principal's endorsement of the rally videos I've seen. It's not the kind of portrayal I want my daughter to be a part of at all, and I shudder to think of what she would be faced with if she (God forbid) decided she wanted to be on the cheer team or something.

I don't expect that things will truly change anytime soon. But they need to keep hearing that it's not appropriate to use a race of people as a goofy mascot, or it never will change.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:46 AM   #16
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With the historical, melting pot makeup of California, there are many races used in sports around here.

The Dons of Santa Barbara High School and the Gauchos of the University of California at Santa Barbara are two that come to mind.

And imagine how many 'mature' women would be mad if they knew the school mascot where I graduated was a...cougar! lol

Maybe in the next few years you can put your energy and effort into helping the school district understand that all Indians are not 'savages' with a mean face.

Again, good luck in your endeavors.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #17
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With the historical, melting pot makeup of California, there are many races used in sports around here.

The Dons of Santa Barbara High School and the Gauchos of the University of California at Santa Barbara are two that come to mind.

And imagine how many 'mature' women would be mad if they knew the school mascot where I graduated was a...cougar! lol

Maybe in the next few years you can put your energy and effort into helping the school district understand that all Indians are not 'savages' with a mean face.

Again, good luck in your endeavors.
Hey, I'm proud to be a cougar!
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:03 AM   #18
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Maybe you can get a petition going to present to the school board. I don't know if it would help, but it may be worth a try. I just started working at a school last year and although I have always been very big in participating in my daughter's education and most all school events, I never realized how much politics were involved in EVERYTHING at pretty much all schools. The power trips in the administration and school boards is almost frightening. I do hope you can at least get the ball rolling for a change. It will definitely be an uphill battle though.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #19
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Hey, I'm proud to be a cougar!
What year did your graduate from my high school?
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:12 AM   #20
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Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif is located in the ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay Natives.

In 1961, the junior college opened with "The Apaches" as their team name and logo.

At some point in the 1990's the college switched to "The Jaguars" to remedy the issue.

The only Jaguars around here are British imports
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